Financial Meltdown Brings Uptown Project to a Standstill

Uptown residents call empty shell "eyesore"

The financial crisis hit home in Uptown as a luxury condominium project ground to a halt.

The meltdown in the financial markets left the developers of The Heritage at the Stoneleigh at the corner of Maple Avenue and Wolfe Street without the money to finish the project.

"The Heritage had working documents for construction financing, but the intended lender was unable to close due to the impact of deteriorating financial markets," said Jud Pankey, CEO of Prescott Realty Group.

A few workers remained on the site Friday to finish up the garage and the historic Stoneleigh Hotel's courtyard, but work has stopped on the condo building.

"I was looking forward to seeing it finished, because it's kind of an eyesore right now with just a big empty shell," Uptown resident Pablo Picasso said.

Pankey said developers will resume construction as soon as possible when the financial markets improve, but that may be "a number of months" away.

Prices at The Heritage start at $369,000 for a one-bedroom unit and rise to $2.4 million for three bedrooms. The sales center remains open inside the Stoneleigh Hotel.

Realtors who track the construction market say other big projects in North Texas could also stall.

Last month, the developers of Museum Tower Dallas delayed the start of their project.

Michael Turner, of J. Elmer Turner Realtors, said the developers of a five-story hotel in Collin County have run into trouble.

"They're into the fourth floor, and their lender terminated the funding," he said.

But Turner said North Texas will survive the financial meltdown better than most other areas of the country.

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